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Unfinished business: OSU-Tulsa president won't fill Hargis' vacancy

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Pamela Fry

OSU-Tulsa President Pamela Fry won't apply to be the president of the Stillwater campus, but plans to help the person that fills that role.

OSU-Tulsa President Pamela Fry seemingly has all the right leadership qualities to fill OSU President Burns Hargis’ vacancy. 

She was the provost at the Tulsa campus, has 30 years of higher education experience and has a masters and doctorate from OSU. 

But even with a resume that would stand out among many applicants, Fry doesn’t plan on applying for the open president position in Stillwater due to unfinished business in Tulsa.

“I'm not planning on applying,” Fry said. “I really have very ambitious and solid goals for OSU Tulsa that I want to speak through, but I'll do everything in my power to support the success of who, who does replace President Hargis.”

Fry’s goals were set at the beginning of her tenure. The main goal set by her administration is for the OSU-Tulsa campus to provide Tulsa with an urban-serving research university.

“One of the overarching goals is that OSU Tulsa becomes a premier urban serving metropolitan research university for Tulsa,” Fry said. It's really applying the land grant idea that OSU is founded on, but applying it to the urban setting. So with that, there's six goals.”

 Those six goals spell out the acronym “aspire”, which represents access to more classes, service to the community, premier programs and facilities, innovation, research and economic development. 

Earning her bachelor's degree from OU and a masters degree and doctorate from OSU, Fry has an attentive focus on teaching, learning, and curriculum at all levels of education. Throughout her career, Fry has worked many educational positions in Oklahoma, which led her to become OSU-Tulsa’s third president in 2019.

Many OSU-Tulsa faculty praise Fry’s work as president, stating she is implementing her current goals and taking the right steps to help the small campus flourish. 

“President Fry has a tremendous vision for OSU-Tulsa as a metropolitan university that supports the needs of the community through an in depth, integrated curriculum with experiential learning.  President Fry understands the needs of the Tulsa metro area and the State of Oklahoma. She is innovative and committed to her vision for OSU-Tulsa,” said Kathy Curry, an education professor at OSU-Tulsa. 

In addition to her traits as a leader, many faculty members look to Fry’s role as a strong woman as a point of inspiration. 

“I think Dr. Fry is a wonderful example of a strong female leader in academia and administration,” said Tonya Hammer, a psychology professor at OSU-Tulsa. “She is encouraging, supportive and outstanding at networking with the community.”